Sugar Bowl Preview: Virginia Tech Offensive Line

Submitted by MGoShoe on December 20th, 2011 at 6:38 PM

My son Ryan has posted his review of Virginia Tech's offensive line at Maize Pages. As previously noted, he's the sports news director for VT's student radio station, WUVT-FM.

Like most OLs, these guys have some interesting back stories -- from RT Blake DeChristopher's beard to LG Greg Nosal playing with a piece of his pinky missing in last season’s game against Central Michigan.

I hope you find it useful.

Previously: Offensive backfield; Receiving corps.


While there, don't foget to check out my Wolverines on Twitter page. It contains the account information for Michigan's football and basketball teams and committed recruits, former Wolverines and other U-M related accounts. Click and follow to your heart's content.

Comments

turtleboy

December 20th, 2011 at 7:03 PM ^

Good stuff MGoShoe. Thanks :)

The 6'6" 290lb Center really caught my eye. Lightest and tallest player on the line. Pretty unusual. Also, the RT could give Keisels beard a run for its money.

Bodogblog

December 20th, 2011 at 8:38 PM ^

didn't know these were being posted by you. I assumed someone was doing their own personal breakdown, and if they were going to be persistent I'd give them a read

4 RS seniors, I had no idea. Looks like a pretty good group. I like the idea of grading them out as well, though I'm going to view the "pancake" stat as dubious. That's actually very hard to do

looking forward to the rest

UMgradMSUdad

December 21st, 2011 at 11:00 AM ^

It will be interesting to see the line play in the Sugar Bowl.  VT's O-line is probably the most experienced in the nation with that many 5th year seniors playing.  DeChristopher and Brooks look to be late round NFL prospects and the others are no slouches either.  As a unit, they look to be one of the better offensive lines Michigan will have encountered this year, but Michigan has a couple of studs on the D-line. It should be a great battle.

Btw, given the write-ups on how impressive the VT's offense is overall, I wonder if Ryan has observations on how or why Duke was able to hold VT to 14 points and Clemson 13 points in two games.

MGoShoe

December 21st, 2011 at 2:22 PM ^

Hey there UMgradMSUdad, this is Ryan hijaking my dad's account (he'll forgive me later). To answer your question on VT's offensive struggles, the only team to flat-out stop VT was Clemson. The Duke game was more about the Hokies looking ahead to their upcoming bye week than Duke having the athletes to shut down the Hokies, evidence by the penalties and miscues such as a wrong route by a WR that led to one of LT3's picks in the game. And even in the Duke and ECU game, the team was still able to run the ball effectively (241 net yards vs. ECU, 243 net yards vs. Duke) despite scoring a combined 31 points against them.

As far as Clemson goes, there honestly are many factors in both games that led to the Hokies demise and it is hard to pinpoint one reason. However, Clemson was able to beat the Hokie line to the point of attack in the run game, which clogged up all the holes while creating backfield penetration. With that said, David Wilson did net 123 rushing yards in the first Clemson game, but Clemson stopped the Hokies' in their tracks each time they sniffed the 50 plus the Hokies trailed the entire game. Regardless, Clemson's line is the fastest in the ACC and are built to rush the QB, so when they force opponents into an all-pass offense, it is hard for any offense to function against the Tigers.

What is amazing is that people who cover the ACC ask the same question you just did about almost every team in the conference. The ACC is loaded with talented players, but they never play up to their capabilities for 13 weeks. Honestly, Virginia Tech is the one team in the conference that plays consistently and to their capabilities for the longest period of time, but even they have those head-scratchning moments.

UMgradMSUdad

December 23rd, 2011 at 5:11 PM ^

Thanks for the response.  If both teams play up to their potential, this should be a very good game.  And of course some of the reasons you mentioned is why predicting outcomes can be so difficult.  I'm expecting a close game with a slight edge to Michigan, which seems to be where the betting line is as well.